Archaeological investigations indicate that the the Baynes Sound region has been continually occupied for more than 5000 years and that shellfish have sustained the peoples of Baynes Sound during that entire time as they continue to do today. What do shellfish, the humble oysters, clams, mussels and scallops mean for Baynes Sound, and BC coastal communities as a whole?
First, to have healthy shellfish populations, fisheries and farming we have to have a healthy marine environment. That means unpolluted and productive waters and watersheds that for example, also benefit the salmon which return to the local streams and creeks, the migratory birds that use this important foraging area and the people live and work here.
Shellfish represent an opportunity to maintain that healthy environment, to produce local food and to support the economy and culture of the local communities. The incredible facility that we are building and will operate reflects this and Vancouver Island University’s mandate of supporting Coastal Communities.
The Deep Bay Field Station will bring the experience and model of traditional agricultural field research stations to:
- Support and sustain shellfish resources and farming through applied research and development,
- Promote responsible coastal development that protects the marine environment through research and public education,
- Demonstrate green building technology through one of the most sustainable buildings in Canada
- Provide training opportunities for training for industry, for VIU students and for community,
- Conduct culinary programs through our partnership with the fantastic Culinary Institute of Vancouver Island
- To provide a special purpose local community venue that will support local events much like our sister facility Milner Gardens does in Qualicum Beach.